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The wines of Chapoutier, Rhône, France

M. Chapoutier, 18 Avenue Dr Paul Durand, 26600 Tain l’Hermitage, Franca
Tel: 00 33 4 75 08 28 65  Fax: 00 33 4 75 08 81 70
E-mail: apine@chapoutier.com
UK agent: Mentzendorff (tel 020 7840)


Nine wines from this well known Rhône negociant, including an impressive new portfolio of three organic wines. Quality is reliable, but not fantastically exciting.

Chapoutier Côtes du Rhône (Organic) 2000
60% Grenache, 40% Syrah. Part of a new ‘organic’ portfolio, this is quite impressive. Deep coloured. The nose shows pretty berry fruit with a meaty edge – quite savoury. Good concentration of meaty, chunky fruit on the palate with good acidity. Very good+ 

Chapoutier Châteauneuf du Pape (Organic) 2000
Very attractive sweet plumy damson fruit with a raspberry edge. Medium bodied savoury palate with a nice earthy edge. Quite an impressive in a modern style. Very good+

Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage (Organic) 2000
Slightly shy, rounded confected nose is rich and juicy. The palate is savoury with very high acidity. A bit thin and unbalanced. Good/very good

Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage ‘Petite Ruche’ 2000
Simple, juicy berry fruit on the nose with a slightly smoky, meaty edge. Palate is quite thin with very high acidity. Youthful. Good/very good

Chapoutier St Joseph ‘Deschants’ 1999
Deep coloured, with an attractive savoury meaty edge to the nose, which is dominated by youthful berry fruit. Medium bodied, high-acid palate with nice savoury juicy fruit. Currently quite youthful. Nice, but could do with some more concentration. Very good

Chapoutier Hermitage ‘La Sizeranne’ 1999
Quite a forward nose which is currently dominated by new oak, with some spicy, smoky berry fruit. Palate is medium bodied and woody with an attractive savouriness. Nice young wine but a bit disappointing for Hermitage. Very good (c. £25 per bottle)

Chapoutier Hermitage ‘La Sizeranne’ 2000
Expressive nose is quite sweet with lots of spicy oak and some savoury fruit. Attractive medium-bodied, chunky palate is currently a bit woody. Lacks real intensity? Very good+ (c. £25 per bottle)

Chapoutier Hermitage ‘La Sizeranne’ 1990
Mature, evolved nose of tea, leather, and herbs with a sweet edge. With some spicy tannins, the palate is medium bodied and quite balanced. Drinking well now, but not one to hold onto for much longer. Quite light for Hermitage and vastly overpriced. Very good+ (c. £50 per bottle)

Chapoutier Ermitage ‘Le Meal’ 1999
Deep coloured. The nose shows firm, spicy, savoury fruit but is currently a bit closed. Good concentration on the palate, which is nicely savoury with rich fruit and spicy, dusty new oak. Fine grained but firm tannins. Not my favourite style, but has potential for development. Absurdly expensive though. Very good+ (c £100 per bottle)  

wines tasted February 2002

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